German officials with British accents?


Anybody else notice this in the movie? I thought that was pretty sad. I don't mean James Mason, either. He manages to shed a good deal of his accent for the movie. Were there -any- British-born Germans in Hitler's military? If there were, we weren't even told of them.

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I would like German accents if they were good at them. If they are going to end up extremely fake sounding and silly it is better not to bother.

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If you watch the TV miniseries, "I, Claudius", "Masada", or "Rome", you'll hear Romans also all speaking with British accents. Clark Gable played Southerner Rhett Butler from SC in GWTW with an Oklahoma accent. Some otherwise talented actors just aren't good with accents. They can't all be Meryl Streep. If you want a hoot, watch James Stewart as an anti-Nazi German in "The Mortal Storm" (1940). He didn't even try a German accent, which was probably a good idea.

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It just wasn't the accents in the film,It was just old school stiff upper lip language as well,'I say old man','He's a decent sort of fellow','Terrible business this war','farewell my love'.....you get the picture...no way the gerrys spoke like that!

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I agree with you Moss. It wasn't the British actors speaking English that bothered me. In fact, actors from the UK seem to have a knack for changing their accents when the occasion requires it or highlighting their accents for a particular role when it makes sense (HBO: Rome or Valkerie come to mind). In this movie it was the British actors acting British that bugged me. Their mannerisms and jokes were kept up in a way that sometimes I couldn't tell if I was supposed to be looking at a Brit or a German unless I looked real close at the uniform.

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If you want absolute authenticity, the characters in the film should be speaking German-accented German, not English. C'mon -- it's an American-made film, primarily for U.S. audiences, who generally don't like subtitles. Imagine when such a movie gets to Spain, or Italy, and gets dubbed into Spanish or Italian.

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Was this perhaps the first film you ever watched???

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Its a strange American movie convention

WW2 Germans talk with British accents, except for Hitler himself- who speaks German or with a thick German accent.

The German language is usually British style English, except for a few phrases. Im a totally english spoken sentence they'll add in "Mein Fuhrer"!

This is also true of the "Space Nazi"s in Star Wars type films and with "proto Nazis" in Roman films (they speak shakespearean english instead of with more accurate Italian accents). In "Gladiator" the new boy Emperor comes home to a Riefenstahl ish parade!

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I just saw this thread. I noticed in mostly all American made or British made movies about the Germans everybody speaks with a English accent. Unless the German/Nazi is played by Maximilian Schell. lol

It gets confusing sometimes because if they are not in uniform I can't tell a nazi from a Allied soldier. Like I just mentioned in another thread the hospital scene I forgot Mason was a Nazi and was talking to a Nazi cohort. The worst offense of this type of acting was Night of the General. Ok we have a Arab Omar Shariff and Peter O'Toole playing Nazi's. It was hilarious. I look at the movie just for the over the top performances.

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If you want crazy, try Schindler's List. I am not knocking that film in general, which I consider a masterpiece, but Spielberg's decision on language and accents is just bizarre. The original notion (I think the film was first going to be directed by someone else) was to have the film in German and Polish with subtitles. I think that would have been the best option, but it never would have worked for mass audiences. Spielberg explains that his decision to have the film in English was due to the fact that he would not be comfortable directing actors speaking in a language he did not understand. Ask Clint Eastwood about Letters from Iwo Jima. Be that as it may, if the language of the film is English, then you run across certain problems because the characters are supposed to be speaking various languages. Schindler and the Nazis (e.g., Goeth) speak German, although neither of them were from Germany (Schindler was from the Sudetenland and Goeth from Austria, just like Hitler). The Schindler Jews presumably spoke Polish or Yiddish among themselves, and unless educated, probably would have spoken poor or broken German to Schindler and the Nazis (although many parts of what were Poland in 1939, had been part of Germany up until the end of WWI, so things get rather confusing linguistically, and perhaps many of the Jews did speak perfect German). Fine, this is drama/cinema and not a historical documentary, so such difficulties have to be glossed over. But what I found was really strange was the fact that when Schindler or Goeth spoke with other Germans it was in English, but quite often in the film you have Germans speaking German (at one point during the scene where the Krakow Ghetto was liquidated, a Jewish boy ran off and was retrieved by two SS, each holding him by one arm; he was then shot by another SS, after which one of the SS guys who was holding the boy screamed at the shooter, IN GERMAN, something to the effect of "What on earth do you think you are doing, you idiot, you could have shot me."). When the Schindler Jews speak to each other, it is in English, yet there are many extras in the film who suddenly blurt out things in Polish (also in the scene where the the Krakow Ghetto was liquidated, one man was thrown down on the floor and just before he had his brains blown out - for no reason that was explained in the film - he could be heard to cry desperately IN POLISH "Don't kill me!" I really cannot imagine what Spielberg was thinking in putting in those bits of dialogue in German and Polish. It makes the whole thing appear a bit schizophrenic, if you ask me.

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Its just #easier to speak with an English accent than a comedy German accent I suppose.

Its that man again!!

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